Saturday 21st November 2009

Surrey FA
Intermediate Cup 2nd Round

Fulham Deaf FC 4 – 5 Tongham FC

Finally the weather was kind to us after we had a match postponement
last week due to a waterlogged pitch. FDFC were relishing the challenge to play
against Tongham who are two divisions above FDFC featuring in the Surrey Elite
Intermediate League and are currently in 4th position of the Elite
league. They are based in Tongham near Farnham, Surrey
and were established in 1922. They joined the Combined Counties Football League
Division One in 2005 and resigned from the Combined Counties League to join
Surrey Elite Intermediate League. Tongham players were welcomed at the FFC
Training Ground.

The players
and officials had to meet up at the Earl Beatty for a team talk because the
changing rooms were unavailable, as they had been used in the morning for two FFCAcademy
matches against Portsmouth FC. Forcing us to get changed in the gym! Everyone
knew how good Tongham are and both Gaffer Sarraf and ‘Ironside’ Beedie urged
the players to concentrate on the full 90 minutes right from the start. Tongham
were certainly a very good team and they kept hold of the ball as much as
possible and they kept passing the ball around the whole pitch especially
inside their half. But once we caught them it enabled us to counter-attack
quickly and apply pressure on them. Our right midfielder Waller; who is one
away from a half-century appearance, should have waited for the ball to be
delivered by Hogan, but he ran too early as the ball passed over his head if he
had not it could have opened the way for us. Tongham had a few chances, but
they were out of range for the goal, as our temporary goalkeeper Vorster, who
had his 168th appearance (with 3 more to go to equal the highest
appearance of Gaffer), hardly had a save to make in the whole first half. At
around the 11th minute, Sellers played 1-2 quickly with Hogan in
midway of the pitch on the left side and Ailey ran for the space on the left
flank which made two Tongham defenders think Sellers was going to slot the ball
through, but instead twisted and turned to shoot sweetly a low ball to the
Tongham keeper’s left side, he saved it over his head and the ball passed the
post for a corner. Hogan delivered the resulting corner in which the unmarked
Evans then headed home to lead 1 up. FDFC could have built the score line up if
it weren’t for Gregory, Ailey, Sellers and Waller missing all those golden goal
opportunities. Waller then made the run in a correct time when Hogan once
again, the provider crossing, delivered an excellent ball sailing over the far
post,  where Waller met it and headed it
passing the post by a millimetre. Gregory had a great chance to score when he
was on a one to one with the opponent hero goalkeeper, but amazingly somehow
the keeper grabbed the ball off Gregory’s feet. Ailey rounded the Tongham left
back and zoomed into the penalty area rocketing the ball over the top corner
from the right side. Gregory had a couple of long shots directly into the
keeper’s safe hands. Lampert curled the ball over the keeper, but over the bar!
It showed that FDFC could not afford to miss too many goal chances, especially
with such hard work from the back four who kept Tongham at bay in the first
half. The referee blew the whistle for half time with FDFC leading 1 – 0.

During the half time talk with both the
Gaffer and Ironside, they said how delighted they were with our defence,
especially keeping a clean sheet during the first half. But once again, it was
similar problem to what we had two weeks ago when we played against AFC Cubo,
where we should have scored at least 3 more goals, by not doing this it made it
difficult for FDFC in the 2nd half because one goal cushion was
insufficient. The team were urged to stay in shape for the rest of the 2nd
half period and ensure that we scored more goals and defend solidly. No
substitutions were made.

During the falling rain, the referee
commenced the 2nd half, FDFC continued with good teamwork by keeping
ball possession in the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half and had few
chances to score before Ailey was fouled near the corner on the right side.
Hogan delivered the dead ball into the dangerous 6 yard goal box where Ailey
was there to head in at the far post to grab 12th goal of the season
and extend the lead by 2 goals. Tongham made a complaint about the resultant
foul feeling it should not be awarded by the referee. FDFC kept applying
pressure on Tongham’s back four with Ailey, Hogan, Waller, Gregory and Sellers
closing down on them quickly that made it difficult to  pass the ball around inside their half. Once
again the Tongham keeper made a couple of good saves to halt us racking up more
goals, which certainly helped Tongham to get back in the game. However, the
referee then awarded a free kick to them seemingly without reason making all
the FDFC players scratch their heads wondering why it was awarded. Gaffer was
bitter with that poor decision and even more angry with our defensive set piece
in which our players were positioned behind the line of the wall much too close
to Vorster and McDougall lost his marker and they scored a simple header goal.
A few minutes later FDFC restored the leading back to a 2 goal cushion when
Hogan won the penalty as he was chopped down by keeper. Lampert scored from the
spot kick and achieved 87th goal for the club and his 7th
goal of the season. It can be seen that Tongham never gave in as they kept
battling all the way, they introduced two attacking players replacing their
captain and right back. The continual poor finishing let FDFC down completely
as once again they should have scored more goals by Gregory, Ailey, Hogan and
Lampert where their efforts were saved by the excellent keeper. Tongham once
again won a penalty award, when Sellers clearly headed the ball away and at the
same time it hit his arm slightly, it wasn’t a deliberate handball at all, but
the referee had other ideas and awarded Tongham a penalty. They scored from the
spot kick. Gregory then scored a quality goal when he made a great quick 1-2 pass
with Hogan, where Gregory beat the offside trap and slotted it passing the
stranded keeper to go 4 – 2 up with ten minutes to go. Waller was shown a
yellow card for attempting to tackle the ball for a goal, but accidentally
fouled the left back in the 6 yard goal box, which was unnecessary for the
referee to book him. Gaffer decided to replace Waller with Swift as a first
substitution. Sadly FDFC conceded another pathetic goal as the referee awarded
another conversational free kick to Tongham outside the penalty box, once again
the defensive set piece let us down as Lampert blocked Vorster’s vision from
the ball and the ball simply passed Vorster without a movement from him.
Another disappointing and conceding goal that had Gaffer furious and annoyed. With
5 minutes away from victory that could made us advancing into the 3rd
round of the Surrey cup, sadly, Tongham equalised, they played a long ball over
to the left side, where the Tongham striker collected and turned the ball to
the middle outside the box where Evans comfortably covered, but he shot the
ball that deflected off Evan’s legs. Vorster was going to dive to the right but
the resulting deflection made the ball go to the other side. Unlucky indeed!
McDougall was unfortunately knocked by the back of the Tongham sub player’s
head that resulted in  a broken nose. He
had to be carried off immediately to go to hospital. Harding replaced him in
central half. A few minutes later, the referee blew for full time with the
result 4 – 4. The game was into extra time. During the first half of extra
time, FDFC continued attacking and attacking all the way and once again a lack
of clinical finishing let FDFC down as they should have scored 3 goals in the
first half of extra time with Gregory, Hogan and Ailey having great chances to
score. The 2nd half of extra time told a similar story to the first
half, which frustrated the whole FDFC camp before Tongham killed us off with a
final goal with 5 minutes to go on a penalty shoot out!

All Fulham lads were left so gutted and
dejected as they all know we were the better side on the day but poor finishing
let us down completely. Gaffer told them to keep their heads high and walk tall
as Tongham were lucky enough to then advance into the next round. We are
wishing them all the best for their next round match against Merrow FC who had
beaten Old Salesians 3 – 0.

Gaffer felt the poor decisions from the
referee didn’t help and probably cost us the match as well as our poor
defensive set pieces. Sellers deserved a ‘man of the match’ which was his first
man of the match for the club since he joined the job. He kept winning the ball
in the heart of the central pitch and controlled the ball exceptionally and
beat 3 or 4 opponents a couple of times. He had great stamina and worked hard
throughout the whole match.

FDFC will now
have to move on and concentrate on the next match which will be against
Nutfield, who did very well in the Surrey Intermediate Cup as they beat SSEC
Intermediate Div 1 leader mighty Westminster Casuals 2 – 1 on Saturday. This
coming Saturday’s Senior Cup match will be a tough match as it seems that
Nutfield have found their form and played solidly lately.

Final score Fulham Deaf FC 4 – 5 Tongham (HT 1 – 0)

FDFC Line-up
:- Vorster, Lampert, McDougall (Harding 80 min) , Evans, Moore, Burns, Hogan,
Sellers, Gregory, Waller (Swift 75 mins) and Ailey

Subs not used
:- Bovino, Willis and Pafe.